Learn Something New Every Day!

A grand tradition of Halloween is being scared to death.  Often through a movie.  Now, I enjoy a good cinematic scare, of a certain type.  I am not crazy about the movies that feature such stars as Chucky or Freddy Krueger.  Blood and gore, even vampires and zombies, do not thrill me.  I like a quieter scary, like the old Twilight Zone or Outer Limits television shows or movies like Misery or Poltergeist (the original).  Okay, Aliens is good too.

I have not watched a scary movie yet this season.  Maybe this weekend.  But—in reality—there is enough in our world to be frightened of that I do not need to seek fright as entertainment.

Take your pick:

  • Global Warming, whether politicians (I could not call them political leaders) recognize the problem or not.
  • Terrorist Attacks even if “they” never perfect nuclear weapons.
  • Escalating Societal Violence like shootings at schools, bombings of churches and senseless killings of anyone since every life matters.
  • Senseless Slaughtering of elephants and rhinos and other animals for the sheer lunacy of making a buck through such things as the ivory trade.

Aren’t those enough to be scared to death? 

Still, other fears plague me on a more personal immediate level:

  • President Donald Trump.  Just typing that made me cringe.
  • The Full Scope of the Presidential Campaigns and all those blasted commercials and speeches that will come our way and go on and on and on and on.
  • The Predicted 2016 El Nino.  I live in California where the drought is in its fourth year.  If the storm does not descend as expected, then will the state really run out of drinking water?  If the storm does descend as expected, will the state survive the floods and mudslides that will be part of its natural force?
  • The Commercialism of Christmas that has already started with the onslaught of catalogs already hawking so many things to buy to all the stores and all their continual sales and gimmicks to get our money.
  • Watching People’s Court.  I am a bit scared (maybe just worried) that somehow people will know that I do not only occasionally watch that show but actually know when it is on and look for it.  Embarrassing but true, so ssshh! Don’t tell anyone.
  • What if?  What if Downton Abbey Season 6 never starts?  What if I can no longer order such goodies as Kookaburra Licorice, Killer Pecans or any of the really good chocolates?  What if good books stop being published?  What?  Who said fears have to be rational?
  • Have a Good Day!  Some days, depending on how I am feeling, someone outrageously demanding simply saying, “Have a good day!”  can make me crazy.  That’s close to being scared, right?  Or maybe my reaction is what is scary.  How dare they infringe on my rights like that!
  • Feeling Old.  Some students in my online classes do not know any of these people or characters:   Bob Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, The Monkees, the Fonz and Richie Cunningham, or even Pee Wee Herman or ALF.  One did not even know Robin Williams ever played Mork from Ork.  And then I grumble about “those kids these days”—now, that is really scary.  I don’t feel old, so how can they be so young?
Edvard Munch's

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”

You cannot hear me, but right now I am screaming in fear.  I think I will stop thinking about life and go find some nice little horror movie to watch, so I can calm down.  Rocky Horror Picture show is on TV at midnight!  Or maybe I will forgo the scary movies and watch The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown where the scariest outcome happens over and over to Charlie Brown:  “I got a rock.”

How about you?  What scares you? Makes your skin crawl?  Freaks you out? 

Now, for your viewing pleasure, here is an excerpt from the opening of the Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).  Want to see something really scary?

Comments on: "It’s Halloween! What Scares You?" (8)

  1. I have many of those same fears, especially climate change and our insane plundering and destruction of the planet. Corporate greed (is that an oxymoron?) is another. We want everything NOW, and seem incapable of thinking about the long term impacts.

    • You are so right! Our society seems to not have terms like long term or consequences in their vocabulary. These global concerns surface more when I see the new batch of potential leaders issue sound bites and fast fixes–as if they will work and demonstrate any kind of critical thinking. We will survive, regardless, in the short term anyway.

  2. So true, so many things to be scared of that there is no need for artificial scares like horror movies. I saw a horrific movie when I was 18 hrs old (“Suspiria”) and have avoided horror movies since then. I still have flashbacks to some of the scenes in that movie (decades later!). That President D.T. would scare me enough to emigrate -seriously!

    • So true–the blood and gore do nothing but potential nightmares, especially if a younger kid is allowed (or accidentally) sees things. Like others, I was hesitant about taking showers after seeing Pyscho with my sister–I was a teen. But I just don’t like the silly scares. And I’m with you on moving away if DT gets into power.

  3. What scares me? Hmmm…when I’m home alone at night and the dogs start barking; my car breaking down out of cell phone range and far from anywhere; knowing that my parents will not always be here.

    • Thanks for stopping by. The loss of your parents is frightening–just love them everyday now! Your other examples are so accurate. When the dogs or cats bark and react as if something is really out there–ooh chilling. And out of cell phone range is a reality that many figure won’t happen but it does. Stay safe when you go hiking!

  4. What a great list of scary things, Patti. I totally agree with all of your examples. Janet mentioned her car breaking down out of cell phone range. It’s scary how dependent we have all become on our cell phones and other technology. A few years ago, I went to a conference downtown, and halfway there on the 405 freeway, I realized I left my cell phone at home. I immediately began to feel anxious. What if something happens, I worried, and I need my phone for an emergency call? I tried to comfort myself. What could go wrong? Sure enough, the red warning light on my car came on to inform me my engine was overheating, just as I was entering the parking garage. I was able to get to a parking spot, but could find no public phone booths in the parking structure to use to call AAA There were none. All of the public pay phones had been removed. No longer needed! Everyone has cell phones now! I called AAA from a public phone inside the hotel lobby (thank goodness the hotel still had a couple of them!), but later when the tow truck didn’t show up on time, I had to search for a parking office inside the parking structure and ask to use their office phone to call AAA. Now every time I run out somewhere and realize I left my cell phone at home, immediate anxiety strikes!

    • Cheryl: You are so right that being without a cell phone these days can be frightening, especially since there are no or very, very few pay phones to even try to use. Being in trouble and no way to call for help is the worst, especially if you are a caregiver and the front line of communications. I have not told my story yet here on my blog about how I can no longer even call AAA with trust. Thanks for stopping by.

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